On February 19, 2016, many MMA fans tuned in to watch what is now called “the worst MMA televised event ever,” Bellator 149: Shamrock vs. Gracie. In the main event, UFC legends Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie fought in their final fight in a trilogy. The co-main event was Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000 settling their lifelong grudge. Prior to their fights, MMA fans were hoping for a sense of nostalgia. Instead, they victimized onlookers with a freak show.
The worst fight of the night, and now considered the worst fight in MMA history, was easily Kimbo Slice versus Dada 5000. After a minute in the first round, both competitors gassed out, making the remainder of their fight mundane and sluggish. Unfortunately for everyone watching, that remainder lasted up to three rounds. Eventually, Kimbo won the fight by TKO. On paper, it says Kimbo hit Dada with a right hook, but it looks more like Dada collapsed from exhaustion.
Within the aftermath of Kimbo Slice and Dada 5000’s fight, many within the MMA community have questioned if such fights should even happen. It is worth asking given that Dada had to be taken straight to the hospital after his fight. Also, Dada almost died from heart and renal failure. When is someone stepping in the MMA cage too old, too unfit, or too inexperienced to fight? These are the questions promoters need to ask before making a fight official. If they did, a “soccer mom” wouldn’t have been brutally knocked out, Dada 5000 wouldn’t have fought, and most recently, a 68-year-old granny wouldn’t have been brutally TKO’d. What worse about the latter is promoters are claiming the “made positive MMA history” with the fight.
Sparta Combat League, an MMA promotion based out of Colorado, is the latest promotion to join a long line of others who have booked fights that made the MMA community say in their minds “What the hell?” According to MMA Mania, they recently booked a match between Laura Dettman, a 24-year-old fighter with a 3-2-0 MMA record, against Ann Perez, a 68-year-old granny who made her MMA debut that night.
Laura Dettman and Ann Perez’s fight can be seen in its entirety in the following attached video. Some people might find the video disturbing given it is footage of a young woman assaulting a much-older lady despite it being allowed.
Laura Dettman does not hold anything back as she literally decimates Ann Perez, who had a troublesome time keeping up her guard. Once Dettman gets Perez down to the ground, it does not take long for her to full mount in position for a barrage of ground and pound. It looks like the referee was taking his sweet time in stopping the fight, because Perez clearly could not defend herself.
Thankfully, Ann Perez was not severely hurt, probably because she has a lengthy combat background specifically in kickboxing. The match was even promoted as “making positive MMA history,” given that Perez now holds the record of the oldest person to compete in MMA, according to Uproxx. That is truly an accomplishment Perez deserves applause for. However, is her record worth breaking? Do we really want to see someone in their 70s, 80s, or even their 90s go up against someone who is in their late teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s?
Ultimately, MMA promotions will book fights just like Laura Dettman versus Ann Perez (and Kimbo Slice versus Dada 5000 and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane versus Katie Castro), because MMA fans will want to see them. Most likely, this situation will be analyzed seriously when it is too late.
[Image via Shutterstock]